Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pubic Option Light

is the word in the House as well. Speaker Pelosi will unveil the House bill tomorrow that will have a public option, but one that will negotiate rates with providers instead of tagging payment rates to Medicare payment rates. This won't save much money, and it is not really clear that such a public option will be able to develop reasonable networks, and negotiate successfully in a way that lets them compete with private insurers. So, public option is in the House and Senate bills, but they are both mostly symbolic and won't do much. There will be great hyperventilaltion on both sides over this.....but both sides will be overstating the importance of THIS version of public option. Much ado about nothing, I think.

Also, the real action is going to be between the House income tax increase (on individuals %500,000+, families $1Million and up) v. Senate tax on high cost health insurance.

Tax on high cost health insurance is far preferable, because it will have some hope of controlling health care costs, and is at least a beginning to getting rid of the tax exclusion of employer provided insurance. I wrote about that last week. Wrote a few weeks ago in the Philly Inquirer a bit more about trying to improve the cost saving aspects of reform bills under consideration.

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